Architect Dermot Bannon is back and building again with a new series of Room to Improve, returning on Sunday 7th January, 9.30pm on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player.
Joined once again by quantity surveyor Claire Irwin, series 15 will feature builds of all different shapes and sizes, with varying budgets, grants and tight deadlines. There will be some heartbreak, and some incredibly compelling personal stories of the challenges of building in a cost-of-living crisis along the way.
Some of the homeowners are struggling with the increased costs of construction, from the cost of materials skyrocketing to rising labour costs. This series also features homes that are eligible for various home improvement grants including the vacant homes grant, the derelict homes grant and the SEAI grant, which will help to educate viewers on the opportunities that are available to prospective homeowners.
First stop for Dermot and Claire is Urlingford, Kilkenny, where Gráinne Murphy and Ivan Williams have been dreaming about renovating Ivan’s forefather’s old farmhouse for many years. With the help of the vacant homes grant and the SEAI grant, Ivan and Gráinne aim to bring the personality and character of this old house back to its former glory. Their total budget is particularly tight for this ambitious project.
In episode 2, Brian Carrigg and Kate Molony attempt to renovate a bungalow with a view of the Rock of Cashel that Kate has dreamed of owning all her life. As their budget is limited, the derelict and vacant homes grant and the SEAI grant have been integral to making this home build possible. The house needs a complete renovation, and the only view of the Rock was through a frosted bathroom window, so Dermot has been challenged to create a new design that captures the stunning view. Will Kate get the home she has always wished for?
In episode 3, Dermot and Claire meet Sandra and Daniel Davey in Knocklyon, Dublin, who bought their dream home there over four years ago. However, a conservatory added by its previous owners is leaking and as a result, the house is so cold that Sandra, Daniel and their two young children spend most their time in the front room. The Davey’s main aim is to make their home more liveable, and to increase its energy efficiency. Will Dermot be able to make their dream a reality within a very tight budget, and working with a one-stop-shop for the construction?
Finally, in the series finale, Ann Brannigan and her husband David are attempting to give Ann’s former family home in Santry, Dublin a complete renovation. Ann bought the home from her grandfather, so it is hugely sentimental to her, and her sister Emer lives next door. Ann and David have a big vision and a sizeable budget for this project. However, Dermot and Claire try to communicate that their growing wish list will increase the cost of the build significantly. Will they be able to compromise?
Room to Improve returns for the first of four episodes on Sunday 7th January, 9.30pm on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player
Slán go fóill.